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Andrew Cooney: The Optimism and Magic of a Rainbow

I asked Andrew Cooney "What makes you optimistic?" Andrew's answer moved me greatly and helped reinforce my commitment to generating more optimism in every circle in which I participate and in every interaction with other people.  Thank you for the inspiration, Andrew!

Andrew Cooney wrote to me "I recall you asking me about this a couple of years ago and me thinking why anyone would be interested in what makes optimistic? I’m not famous or very influential. However, having read the posts you have shared, I have been really interested in learning about the different perspectives on optimism from a range of people from all walks of life. Thank you for following this up, and I’m happy to share. 

Cooneys Daughter RainbowLet me start by sharing a picture drawn by my 9-year daughter. When I first looked at this, I was immediately drawn to the clouds and the rain that was placed in the corners of the picture. I asked my daughter about the image, expecting a response aligned with dark clouds and disappointment about not being able to play outside on a rainy day. 

I was taken aback by the response when she told me “I love big dark rain clouds Dad, I get so excited when I see them”. 

I asked why and with her wide, bright eyes I heard “My favourite thing in the whole wide world is a rainbow - I love the colour, I love how beautiful they are, and I love the magic that comes with the pot of gold”. 

A great lesson for me in an optimist's approach; out of the gloom of the clouds is the optimism and magic of a rainbow. 

For me, optimism is about creating a sense of excitement and at times hope. It’s allaying fears of the unknown, supporting others through uncertainty and affirming that the future is bright. It is essential to set a scene of positivity ahead and engage others to help design the path of how we reach where we are going."

Andrew Cooney is the Director of Commonwealth Games, the City of Greater Bendigo

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